Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, the national leader in providing in-home care for seniors.
Today I am here in the Betty Crocker Kitchens talking about Senior Nutrition. Many seniors lack good nutrition, which is dangerous for both their physical and psychological health.
The result of a Home Instead Senior Care study show that one in five seniors say that he or she sometimes or most of the time feels lonely when eating by themselves. In fact, they say their biggest meal time challenge is the lack of shared family experience, including lack of companionship. This lack of socialization at meal time is resulting in some 44% of seniors who live alone showing at least four warning signs of poor nutritional health.
There are also some aging and medical conditions that might cause your parents to alter his or her eating habits that can result in diminished health. These conditions include loss of the ability to taste and/or smell, physical challenges, loss of appetite, dementia and other cognitive problems, depression and transportation and budget issues.
Interestingly, a majority of seniors who live alone say they eat more nutritiously and the food actually tastes better when eating with others. However, the most common obstacle preventing these seniors from sharing more meals is their family and friends don't have enough time.
There are several actions you can do to help your senior loved one have better nutrition and eating habits. From helping them prepare for and shop for groceries to helping them select foods that are high in nutrition and loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and fiber, to giving them ideas on how to prepare foods that are not only good for them but taste good too.
And lastly, engaging in conversation with them, thereby providing the vital companionship they need in order to have a happy and enjoyable meal time experience.